RE: Start button/Program menu in Windows Vista

Subject: RE: Start button/Program menu in Windows Vista
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "Paul Hanson" <phanson -at- Quintrex -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2007 14:47:39 -0700

Paul Hanson wrote:

> I was looking at this page:
> tapreview.
> mspx and in the "Find your programs on the Start menu"
> section, I noticed that the "Start" button is now an icon.
> Also, the entire navigation to an app on the Start menu has
> been changed to have an entry field where the user types the
> name of the app.
> Has anyone had to address this specific user interface change
> in their doc?

Well, yes -- Microsoft's tech writers have no doubt addressed it.

Unless your audience consists largely of complete computer novices, and
you've assumed the responsibility for teaching them all the basics
("What's a window? What's a button? How do you use the mouse? ..."), why
would you write to this level of detail about a basic feature of the
operating system, something people encounter with all kinds of other
applications and tasks besides yours?

If, for some reason, you _have_ assumed the responsibility for teaching
novices all the basics, IMHO you should do it in a separate "How to use
your computer / Windows" document, rather than repeating in excrutiating
detail how to start an application each and every time the subject comes

Unless you're being paid by the word, of course. ;-)


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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